Manchester City Council (MCC) and Manchester Health and Care Commissioning (MHCC) will invest £1.5m in support services for carers in a bid to improve the range and effectiveness of services for unwaged carers
A spokesman for MCC said there are an estimated 60,000 carers in Manchester, many of which are children and young people, providing unpaid care for relatives, friends or neighbours who, due to physical or mental illness, disability, frailty or addiction can not manage on their own.
As part of the investment, MCC and MHCC will work with Manchester Carer’s Network (MCN), a group of 19 Manchester-based voluntary and community groups, to launch a new telephone helpline which will offer practical advice, information and support to carers across the city.
The helpline will also offer the opportunity to link into the Neighbourhood Carer Support Groups, which will provide peer support and social and relaxation opportunities.
Cllr Bev Craig, executive member for Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing said the cash boost will allow a ‘one-stop-shop’ to better coordinate services already available for carers. She said:
‘Carers play an essential role in every community across the city with the day-to-day care of many Manchester people carried out by family, friends and too often young family members. We know that many carers do it because they love the person involved, and we want to make sure they get the support they deserve.
‘We know that there are lots of services already out there, and this cash boost will allow a one-stop-shop to better coordinate them. This investment in services is a recognition of the critical support they provide in helping to look after loved ones or neighbours in their own homes, allowing them to be as independent as possible.
‘It is important that there is the right level of support and help for them too so that they can look after their own health and wellbeing. This new service sits alongside other improvements in services and the Greater Manchester Carers Charter which we are championing across the city.’
Lynne Stafford, chief executive of the Manchester-based Gaddum Centre and chair of Manchester Carers Network recently coordinated a consultation with carers and professionals to review current care support service in Manchester. She said:
‘There is a greater need than ever before to fight for carers’ rights and ensure they are getting the support they need.
‘The recent NHS survey found carers are now receiving less support than ever both financially and practically; so this investment in services for them is very welcome news.
‘Manchester Carers Network already works to provide emotional and practical support for unwaged carers and to raise awareness of issues carers face in Manchester.’
The new service will be operational from April next year. For more information click here.
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